Legal English: confusing terms (advice; advise; advisement)

These look-alike terms are sometimes confused, even by native English speakers. The first two are not necessarily legal terms, but do often appear in legal contexts. “Advice” (consejo) is always a noun: “He gave me some good advice.” “United States Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.” In contrast, “advise” is a verb meaning “to counsel;” “to give advice” (aconsejar): “The defendant was advised by his attorney not to testify during the trial.” As a verb “advise” can also mean “to inform” (avisar): “Please advise me when you are ready.”

In other respects, “advisement” denotes “careful consideration,” and judges often indicate that they will “take a matter under advisement” when they postpone making a decision until a later date. Thus, the expression “I will take this matter under advisement” implies that the matter in question will be given careful consideration and that a decision will be forthcoming.

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